92% of Germans concerned about their data security – welcome new EU data protection laws!

Yesterday, the EU made a huge step towards stronger European privacy and data protection. Officials agreed on new, stricter laws that will enforce companies to protect the data and privacy of their European people.

The regulations will give users a right to know when their data has been hacked, a right to transfer their data between providers and give easier access to their own data and transparency around how it is processed.

European users are concerned about their online privacy

The new laws answer the needs of European people, who are increasingly concerned about their online privacy.

Our representative survey conducted 2 weeks ago among German professionals found that

  • 92% of them are concerned about the security of their online data
  • Their main concerns are Hackers (59%), Government surveillance (47%) and Lack of transparency of online service providers (46%)
  • Only 10% take action and use end-to-end-encrypted services to keep their personal data, chats, or emails safe.

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) forces data processors and data controllers to be transparent. We could already see this coming with the end of 20-years old US-EU Safe Harbor pact. But now, companies who don’t adapt can be fined to up to 4% of their revenue.

Majority would prefer using European services

The same study found that German professionals would feel more secure using European online services, but they stick to the services of US tech giants.

  • More than half (59%) would prefer using a European service for online communication, file sharing, etc.
  • Privacy and security concerns are one of the main reasons for this preference: 10x more people feel safer using European services (35%) than American services (3%)
  • Yet, 96% of respondents use the services of US tech giants for communication, sharing files and managing their company (Whatsapp, Dropbox, Google Drive and Facebook Messenger)

We were struck to see the huge contradiction between Germans’ need for European, secure services and what they actually use.

As only 6% of respondents indicated that they chose US services because they perform better, it seems to us that the only obstacle is that they don’t know that alternatives exist.

Tresorit_EU Data Protection

Secure, European alternatives already exist today

The new law will become official in 2 years, so companies will only be forced to respect privacy and protect data by 2018. In the meantime, we recommend using services that already respect privacy and protect users’ data with end-to-end encrypted technology.

End-to-end encryption is the only “adequate” protection for personal data. This technology ensures that the user has the final say on who accesses their data.

We share the beliefs of Andrus Ansip, VP for Digital Single Market, who said “The digital future of Europe can only be built on trust. (…) Today’s agreement builds a strong basis to help Europe develop innovative digital services.

Companies that offer an end-to-end encrypted service and respect privacy already exist in Europe:

We will work together to protect the data and privacy of European citizens.

 

About the research: All data, if not specified otherwise, were provided by YouGov Deutschland AG. 515 individuals have participated in the survey between the 24th November and 1st December, 2015.  The results have been weighted and are representative for employment ratios by company size.

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